Just like with any kind of market, you have to have a clear idea regarding the identity and preferences of your target audience so you can position your product correctly. If you position the right product to the wrong audience, you might not make any money. Similarly, if you position the wrong product to the right audience, you would not get any results either. You have to position the right product to the right audience at the right time.
This may seem like typical marketing theory, but this is the truth. You have to sell to the right people at the right time. Otherwise, you are not going to make any money. This is true whether you are selling digital products, whether you run an e-commerce website and you are selling physical products, or whether you are selling services.
If you are a freelancer and you are offering services like video creation, graphic design, writing and other types of freelance services, you really have to understand that there are five different kinds of freelance service clients out there. These five different type of clients have different mindsets. They have different expectations and different assumptions.
If you position your freelance service to the wrong kind of client, you are not going to get the results that you are looking for. In fact, you might be getting the results that the vast majority of freelancers from India, Pakistan, the United States, the Philippines, Western Europe, Canada and Australia get: Nothing.
Not even twenty percent of freelancers make eighty percent of the income (yes, the old 20/80 rule). The pareto principle works when it comes to wealth distribution, asset distribution, and it definitely works when it comes to marketing. If you want to be in that twenty percent walking away with the lion’s share of the profits in the freelance service industry, you need o pay attention to this blog post. Seriously. Otherwise, you might just be wasting your time. You might be settling for cents on the dollar and have no clue as to what you are doing wrong.
I cannot spell it out more clearly than this. You have to market the right kind of service to the right kind of people. You have to position your service offering in such a way that your target market can fully appreciate what you are offering and would buy from you. The more they buy from you, the more they find you credible. The more they find you credible, the more they find you trustworthy. The more trust you build, the more they would refer others to you. If you play your cards right, it is only a matter of time until you have establish a massive base of loyal freelance service clients.
Here are the five kinds of freelance service clients you need to keep an eye on.
Client type #1: The Cheapskate
The cheapskate is always looking for the lowest price. This person does not really care about the quality of the graphics, the content or the SEO service that he or she is getting, all that the cheapskate cares about is to get the lowest price. Why is price such an important consideration for this type of freelance service client? This person is basically not getting much success from the internet, this is why this person is very interested in lowering his or her cost to the bare minimum because nine times out of ten this type of online entrepreneur is not getting the kind of success that he or she feels he or she deserves. To compensate, this person constantly low balls freelance service providers. This person has a very low loyalty. In other words, if you do not meet his or her price requirements, goodbye, this person will go to the next person.
The saving grace for the cheapskate is that, there are tons of them. In fact, there are too many of them. These are hobbyists and failed online entrepreneurs that basically recycle through their service providers always looking for cheaper and cheaper sources of labor. The good news for them is that, there is no shortage of cheap labor because the global market for freelance outsourced service is a race to the bottom.
It used to be that you can get high quality banners only if you are willing to pay a hundred dollars, now you can get high quality banners for a dollar a pop. The same goes with writing. It used to be that you can get high quality written content only if you are willing to pay fifty dollars per article, now you can actually pay one dollar per article. That is how crazy the freelance service market has become.
The main reason why the market has evolved this way, is because of the cheapskate, there is just too many of them they are driving the market. The worst part of it all is the average quality of freelance service output has collapsed, but guess what, the cheapskate does not care. The cheapskate does not really want to pay too much attention to quality. The cheapskate is only paying attention to the price. As a result, the industry is suffering.
Client type #2: The Novice
The novice is not a cheapskate. The novice is actually willing to pay for quality. However, their default policy is that they would want the highest quality for the lowest price. The reason the novice thinks this way is because, he or she is new to the game. They do not know how the market operates. They are highly unrealistic regarding the results that they would get when they buy your freelance services.
The good news regarding the novice is that, they can be talked into reality. They can basically get the basic fact that you get what you pay for. If you pay peanuts, naturally you will attract monkeys. Unfortunately, you can not build a solid online business empire on the work of unpaid or lowly paid monkeys. It is just not going to happen. The novice understands this, this is why they can be talked into paying a little bit more money if they see results. Eventually, they can enter into a long term mutually fulfilling relationship.
The novice is not really a newbie in the sense that they are not completely clueless, they are novices in the terms that they want to see the results first before they invest further. This is why the novice is a really good client to get, because this person is open minded, and most importantly, willing to enter into a long term mutually beneficial relationship with you. Of course, you can not get too crazy and jack up your prices in a very outrageous manner. As long as you factor in inflation and your actual cost of production, the novice would understand.
The good news is that, as long as you are patient and willing to offer the novice low prices until he or she can build his or her profitability or bring the business to a high enough level to afford higher rates, then you can enter into a mutually profitable relationship with the novice.
Client type #3: The Intermediate Mid-Market Client
The mid-market client is not a novice. This person knows the price of things and this person knows what he or she is looking for. This person pays decent money. This person normally pays fifty percent or seventy-five percent more than the cheapskate and about twenty to twenty-five percent more than the novice.
It is no surprise that the intermediate mid-market client is very easy to work with. However, you have to understand that this client has a very narrow view of what works. If what you are offering does not fall within this narrow conception, I am sorry, you are not going to get a sale from this type of client. This client is very flexible once he or she knows the kind of results you produce. This client can definitely be a long term client. However, this person is very fixed regarding what he or she is expecting. So, you better offer what he or she is expecting, otherwise, you are not going to get this type of client.
Another bonus of working with the intermediate mid-market client is, this person is probably one of the most loyal clients you will get. You really have to royally screw up t be able to loose this client. This person does not really want to go through the time and hassle of qualifying other providers, because he or she knows that nine times out of ten a lot of freelance labor sources out there are worthless, either they produce good work at first then they slack off at the end or they just produce garbage from the get go. The intermediate mid-market client does not want to deal with all that drama, this is why as much as possible they would like to stick to one freelance service provider. They can be very loyal for the long term. Do yourself a favor and make sure your intermediate mid-market client is happy. Of course, you have to do this in such a way that you do not end up starving.
Client type #4: The Expert Client
The expert client knows exactly what he or she wants. In fact, the expert client is very, very specific. If you are writing an e-book for example, this person is going to break down every chapter and verse regarding what you are going to write. You feel that you are in a straight jacket when you are dealing with an expert client.
Also, this person sends back work like it is nobody’s business. Seriously. If you miss a small detail or if you do something slightly wrong, you can expect the work to bounce back and bounce back often. This person does not screw around when it comes to revisions.
The saving grace for this type of client is that, this person pays really good money. In fact, the money is so good that you would want all your clients to be expert clients. However, it takes a lot of getting used to, because different expert clients have different temperaments, in many cases they yell at you on Skype, many even send threatening letters, but given the huge amount of money involved, it is probably a very good idea to hang on to the expert client.
The bad news is that, they are very easy to lose. You only need to screw up one order and they are gone. It is not because they are like the cheapskate that can easily rely on the fact that everybody is willing to bet on the fact that there are just too many people from countries like Pakistan, India, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Kenya, that are willing to work for one hundredth of a penny, no. The expert client is very specific and knows the experts in the field. So, if you lose this client, he or she knows who to talk to in order to get better quality service from. It is a bad idea to lose an expert client. They pay top dollar, but they expect top dollar quality.
Client type #5: The Corporate Client
This is the cream of the crop. We are talking media agencies. If you get a corporate client, you know you have hit the big time. To get a corporate client, you really have to be at the top of your game. Seriously. No joke. This means that you have to be the recognized world leader in your niche. This means that industry observers mention you by name. That is how agencies will hear of you. That is how agencies will take you seriously. The head honchos, the movers and shakers, people that matter in your particular industry have to have a high enough appraisal of your capabilities for you to be even on the radar wit these people.
The good news is that, all that hard work, sacrifice and authority building effort pays off at the end. Why? If you snag an agency contract, you are basically set. We are talking about contracts that are valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is not chump change, this is the big leagues folks. We are not talking fractions of a penny here, we are talking enough money to set you up for life. This is the real deal.
Wait, it gets even better. These people will not only pay you hundreds of thousands of dollars every quarter or in many cases every single month, but they want long term contracts. We are talking five-year deals. Amazing, right?
Well, unfortunately there is a downside to this:
First and foremost, it is very hard to get this type of client. In fact, you have to have published a book, you have to have appeared on television, you have to have gone to hundreds of conventions, and most importantly, the biggest names in your industry must have been talking you to the high heavens for you to be even in the running for such a client.
Second, you have to have the right infrastructure. Corporate clients are not looking for mom and pop operations to do business with. You have to step your game up. You have to have staff, you have to have people working under you, you have to have an office, you have to be able to fly out at the last minute to talk to people face to face.
Also, you have to be able to handle mission critical stuff. The stuff that you are handling can mean the difference between profitability and loss. You have to be able to live with that level of pressure.
With a corporate client, you are assured that you will retain the contract even if you screw up from time to time. However, if you drop the ball once too often, they are gone. Kiss that mansion goodbye if you lose this type of client. Why? It is big news when they leave a provider. Your career or your company’s reputation is basically shut if your corporate client leaves you.